3 Reasons Why People Follow Leaders (and what makes us curious about them)

Why do we follow leaders?

In the roles we play, we are either a leader or a follower.  Find out why we follow leaders — why we are curious about them. Taking on a follower’s perspective may help in our own leadership in the workplace or in our homes.

I have observed that there are three things people are curious about when following a guru, mentor, or leader. Whether consciously or subconsciously, we might have asked ourselves the following:

1. “Why is he/she successful?” (They MODEL our Ideals)

People listen to someone who models their dream or ideal. They want to find out what motivates that leader. They are curious about the reasons behind his/her passion.

Reflect: As a leader, do we model the aspirations of our workplace?

2. “How does he/she do it?” (We want to Learn a METHOD that works)

People want to know exactly how that person became successful. Whether it’s about financial success, spiritual discipline, or solid character, followers want to learn the “how-to” of things. One may even ask, “What’s his/her secret?”

Reflect: As a leader, are we generous in sharing our experiences and methods?

3. “How can I become like him/her?” (We want to MIRROR some aspects of the leader into our lives)

They want to have a taste of what the leader has: knowledge, wisdom, wealth, or health. Being present with that certain leader — whether in a forum, concert, coffee session, or in a classroom — creates great impact. A close encounter can generate enough inspiration to last a lifetime.  The more time spent with a leader, the more one can mirror his/her actions.

Reflect: How much time do we spend with those we lead?

If you model your vision and mission, you are a leader with integrity and people will follow you naturally. If you show them the method, you are a leader that brings benefit to his/her followers. If you can make people see themselves in what you do, you are a leader that multiplies leaders.

Jesus spent 3 years with his Apostles, showing them the Father’s ways and teaching them what to do attain salvation. The faithful ones followed Christ to the end, saying: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6: 68).

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